Architects: Damien Fluchaire & Julien Cogne
Location: Marseille, France
Architect In Charge: Damien Fluchaire, Julien Cogne
Engineering Firm: Auxitec BET
Area: 835 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of FDC-Studio, D. Fluchaire, P. Terraz, A.Ravix
From the architect. Witness of the municipality’s undertaking for its districts, the House of Chutes-Lavie is the new equipment for sport and community of the 4th arrondissement of Marseille. The ambition of a social equipment near a sensitive area is wide and ambivalent: if the constraints are those of sustainability, easy upkeep, invulnerability of the equipment against the willful or unintended damages, needs, meanwhile, concern more deeper and more sensitive feelings: those of the consideration, thoughtfulness and respect. In the midst of the organization of the sporting, educational and family life, the neighborhood house therefore has a strong part to play. It’s in this dichotomy that the project draws its essence: the thickness and strength of materials, such as concrete and steel, linked by the contemporary, sensitive, almost delicate vocabulary like a precious jewel.
These initiatives shine over the entire city and participate in the “living together”. Urban and humans, these two vectors of the city, join and participate in the development of a neighborhood and a city in the making. At Marseille-Provence, European Capital of Culture in 2013 and a candidate for the European Capital of Sport in 2017, the second city of France is definitely looking to the future.
Located in a neighborhood with common architecture and known for its crime, the new construction get along on a large plot with a multipurpose building, a kindergarten and existing outdoor sports ground. The project is on two floors, with 8 offices for local associations and 2 sports hall with changing rooms and storage. The grounds were redesigned to provide parking, a wide playground for children and an available way from the street for disabled person. Pedagogical gardens (non-project) have been developed for the kindergarten to participate in the greening of the land.
The monolithic building, designed in shuttered concrete, wants to be rustic and sustainable, but also contemporary and quality: conceived in raw materials, the building in stamped concrete reveals its light texture set, while the stainless steel cladding rig out it in a shiny metal skin with perforations, providing a “vibration” in the chiaroscuro shadows, thus protecting the building from intrusion and solar gains.
So there is two understanding degrees: First time, the general pattern across the building works under a vegetable pattern inspired by a impressionistic point of view of the breakthrough of pine trees in the middle of Provence. Second time, at the human level, these perforations interpret the pattern of neighborhood plan and put together “symbols” from filled and empty spaces to create a vocabulary of primitive signs, sort of “mystical”code for a building that becomes setting of the social bond so precious. On the underlying theme of man in his environment, this project is a poetic answer to this need of “bunker” equipments.